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Herpes simplex picture
Herpes is an infection caused by herpes simplex virus 1 or 2. It
primarily affects the mouth or genital area.
There are two different strains of herpes simplex viruses. Herpes simplex virus type 1
(HSV-1) is usually associated with infections of the lips, mouth, and face. It is the most
common herpes simplex virus among the general population and is usually acquired in
This is a picture showing the sore on the lip caused by herpes simplex.
There are two strains of herpes simplex viruses:
Here are the differences between 1 and 2
- Herpes simplex virus type 1 (HSV-1) is usually
associated with infections of the lips, mouth, and face. It is the most
common herpes simplex virus and many people develop it in childhood. HSV-1
often causes sores (lesions) inside the mouth, such as cold sores (fever
blisters), or infection of the eye (especially the conjunctiva and cornea).
It can also lead to infection of the lining of the brain (meningoencephalitis).
It is transmitted by contact with infected saliva. By adulthood, 30 - 90% of
people will have antibodies to HSV-1. The likelihood of childhood infection
is higher among those with lower socioeconomic status.
- Herpes simplex virus 2 (HSV-2) is usually sexually
transmitted. Symptoms include genital ulcers or sores. However, some people
with HSV-2 have no symptoms. Up to 30% of adults in the U.S. have antibodies
against HSV-2. Cross-infection of type 1 and 2 viruses may occur from
oral-genital contact. That is, you can get genital herpes on your mouth, and
oral herpes on your genital area.